LANDesk Software Inc.s LANDesk Security Suite 8.6 is a much more significant release than the version number implies. IT managers who are looking for a way to scan end-user systems for both correct configuration and the presence of malware should add LANDesk Security Suite to their list of possible options. Click here for a sample RFP for access control systems.By comparison, hardware-based products such as Vernier Networks Inc.s EdgeWall 7000 Rx family have slightly higher initial costs but can integrate with existing security infrastructure such as RADIUS servers and directory tools and do a more thorough job of securing network-level access. All products, including LANDesk Security Suite 8.6, want to play nice with Cisco Systems Inc.s NAC (Network Admission Control) infrastructure because NAC equipment is widely used in larger enterprises. Ciscos Clean Access products are competitive in some ways with LANDesks Trusted Access now included in LANDesk Security Suite 8.6, yet LANDesk offers a detailed guide for implementing LANDesk Security Suite 8.6 in a Cisco NAC infrastructure. Considering the fluidity of the network security perimeter (if such a perimeter still exists), theres plenty of room in the enterprise for LANDesk Security Suite 8.6 and other access control products. IT shops that are already using LANDesk Management Suite or some other LANDesk product will likely find that the time needed for product deployment is significantly reduced by using familiar LANDesk tools to deploy the new security functions. However, even organizations that already have a LANDesk implementation should be advised that the new Trusted Access functionality requires that all end-user devices already installed with an older LANDesk agent must be upgraded. eWEEK Labs tests show that IT managers could easily spend weeks and even a month or more deploying LANDesk Security Suite 8.6. This is not significantly different from other tools that use a combination of network access control and end-user device management to keep viruses and spyware at bay. The Trusted Access functionality requires extensive setup and works either in LANDesk-only mode or in conjunction with Ciscos NAC-compliant gear. We tested the LANDesk-only mode, which uses DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) to control client access to the protected network. LANDesk Trusted Access adds a layer of security to the protected network by preventing vulnerable or corrupted end-user devices from gaining network access. This is a tall order, and it took a lot of infrastructure setup and tweaking to get all the LANDesk components working correctly. We used VMware Inc.s ESX Server to create virtual servers, which helped a lot in our tests. We recommend that IT managers use VMwares tools to create a test lab where the complex components can be more easily tested. Next Page: A four-server set-up.
Released in August, LANDesk Security Suite 8.6 is competitively priced, with a license fee of $59 per seat, plus $29 per seat per year thereafter in subscription fees for security and patch content updates from LANDesk.